Government yesterday ordered bakers to hold off bread price increases. Bakers had hiked prices to $2.20 per loaf citing rising costs.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu spoke to bakers Friday afternoon and urged them to revert to the old prices.
“I told them to hold on until we meet on Monday. That is my position. I do not know how they are going to proceed,” he told The Herald state newspaper.
A Lobels employee who requested anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the Press told Kukurigo Friday afternoon that all area managers had received calls directing them to revert to the old prices.
Efforts at official comment were unsuccessful.
Government risks outright confrontation with industry as senior officials maintain price increases are unjustified while business argues that the cost of foreign currency required to import goods and raw materials has increased necessitating price increases.
Price controls bankrupted retailers in June 2007 after the authorities ordered all prices to be slashed in half.